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Narrative Simulation: Poietic Strategies and the Modelling of Fictions

AQUILINA, CONRAD (2020) Narrative Simulation: Poietic Strategies and the Modelling of Fictions. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 10 August 2023.


In an age of computer modelling, a traditional semantics behind the term ‘simulation’ and its platonic associations with imitation or pretense has ceded ground to more versatile, if not opposite, applications of the term. This epistemic shift is evident in the way simulation has undergone conceptual and practical reconsiderations beyond ontology. This dissertation arose from this initial enquiry, and the belief that simulation’s mimetic strategies can be considered to authenticate, rather than replicate, behaviours of properties under study, with modelling being an essential representational but also poietic process suited to narrative world-building. Correlations can be drawn between simulation modelling and narratology. Models construct frames of reference for target systems through make-believe mechanisms which also validate their truth as fictions – a mechanism readily seen in narratology. Fictional worlds are more than mimetic narrative constructs; they are foremost, approaches to narrative phenomenology and simulation. The reader should feel or experience the textual world as possible, and if specific behaviour or affect is to be elicited, the narrative model requires strategies which sufficiently simulate if not the texture, then at least a mentally intelligible perception of that world. Simulation narratives thus place additional ‘writerly’ demands on the reader as producer rather than passive consumer of a text. Reading becomes a reconfigurative process (a form of mental re-writing) since the simulation of narrative requires the same imputation of laws and accreditation of behaviours between the source reality and target model present in scientific simulation. In turn, formal demands placed by narrative simulation translates into the need for functional, if highly synthetic, hypermimetic processes, where a secondary reality is augmented. This is especially suitable in cases where object phenomenology is to be prolonged for the sake of reader immundation or manipulation of the text.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Simulation; Modelling; Poiesis; Hypermimesis; World-Building; Phenomenology; Cognitive Narratology; Narratology
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:12 Aug 2020 09:11

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